Social media users do not need to apply for Finas licence

The media statement

KUCHING, July 24: Social media users are free to create and upload videos to existing platforms like TikTok, Youtube and others without having to apply for a Finas licence.

Minister of Communications and Multimedia Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah emphasised that the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government has no intention of using the National Film Development Corporation (Finas) Act 1981 to restrict the personal freedom of individuals on social media.

“The Malaysian government reiterates its firm stand in supporting the principle of media freedom and freedom of individuals in social media.

“Social media users are free to use existing platforms including to produce and upload videos as usual without having to apply for Finas licence or be concerned of being sued by Finas,” he further clarified in a statement today.

Saifuddin pointed out that the government will amend the Finas Act 1981 (Act 244) in taking consideration of the current situation.

“As announced on July 20, the ministry has initiated efforts to amend the acts under the purview of the ministry so that it is suitable for current needs.

“The government will start the amendment process in the nearest time,” he added.

This further clarification was issued after news reported Saifuddin stating that all film producers must apply for a Film Production Licence and a Filming Authentication Certificate (SPP) regardless of whether the production was meant for traditional or social media platforms yesterday (July 23).

He was responding to a question by Wong Shu Qi (DAP – Kluang) who asked Saifuddin to state whether all film producers must apply for the licence and SPP regardless of whether they were a mainstream media agency or personal media that produced films on social media platforms or traditional channels.

Saifuddin’s comments had sparked an immediate backlash on social media but later in the day, he issued a statement explaining that certain sections of some news reports on his response regarding the need for Finas licence for filming had given an inaccurate picture which led to a different context to his reply.

He clarified that he was only explaining about the existing law, which is the Finas Act which was passed in Parliament in 1981 and the Act has been in use all this time including previous governments.

“In 1981, there was no social media technology such as TikTok, YouTube and so on.

“The ministry is aware that the act needs improvement. I had mentioned in my 100 days report card on June 20, that the ministry is reviewing all laws under its purview,” he added. —DayakDaily